While Mother Nature displayed her wintery bravado outside, the Hot Springs Village Parks and Recreation Committee (P & R), chaired by Debra Fuller, was ensconced in the warmth and comfort offered by the Coronado Community Center for the November 14, 2022, meeting. At one point in the meeting, Tamara Orosco, Admin to the P & R Director, glanced out the ample windows and was heard to exclaim with surprise in her voice, “It is sleeting!”
The committee members did not let a little precipitation rain on their parade or prevent the progression of their proposed plans. Temporary Committee Secretary, Serena Gonzales, discussed the upcoming refreshing of the Village Mini-golf facility. This project is being done for both aesthetic and safety reasons. Listed below are the main discussion points.
- The concrete sidewalks are severely cracked to the point of being a risk management issue. They will have to be repoured.
- Most of the area will receive a refresh of paint with much better colors.
- The amenity will have an Arkansas theme featuring quartz mining, deer, kayaking, fishing, possibly some other wildlife, an old mill paddlewheel, and a razorback hog that will replace the seal.
- Only five of the 18 holes will be changed.
- The artificial turf will be replaced.
- The hole cups will be replaced.
- Replacement of putting pads
- Committee Member Kristy Schneider’s husband is an engineer, and he will do an engineering outline of all the holes. This outline will be displayed on a sign, and there will also be some history items included on the sign.
- Lighting is already available. Light poles will be repainted by the Recreation Department. Committee Vice Chair Mark Quinton said the poles are tilted, and this issue should be addressed. Quinton also suggested that to save money on electricity that the lighting could be changed to LED.
- There will be no charge for playing mini golf if you have your own equipment. Visitors can rent equipment. The committee discussed ways to make equipment accessible without needing to rent it from the recreation office located by the amenity.
- This project is in the recreation budget, and some organizations are helping with the cost of painting and building hazards. It is anticipated that there will be donations of labor, art, and woodworking.
- Gonzales will receive a confirmation for a work date from the woodworkers’ group before Thanksgiving.
- There is a gazebo in the area that has very low seating that appears to be built for children. Gonzales proposes a gazebo expansion be constructed for the placement of three picnic tables.
Other Meeting Topics of Interest
Bruce Caverly Replaces Pam Avila as Committee Liaison
- Because former POA Board Member and Liaison to the committee Pam Avila left to work full-time for the POA, Bruce Caverly has been assigned as her replacement. Caverly said, “I have been around the Village for about 22 years. I have been involved in Common Property [Committee] as both chair, and vice chair for about 18 of those years and was seated on the Board this year…I know pretty well what is going on in the Village.”
- Updating the committee on Board activities, Caverly shared that the Board is in the process of finalizing the fee schedule for 2023. The fees will be even dollars or half-dollar amounts.
- “We are behind the eight ball on the annual budget for next year. That caused us a lot of headaches this year because we lost everybody in the Accounting Department at the beginning of the year, including the Controller. We hired all new people, and they don’t understand our situation, and we don’t understand where everything is, so we’re trying to put stuff back together, piece by piece. One of the things you have to do [with the budget] is the projection of what you need next year. We’re down to the final straws with some comments from our Finance and Planning Committee with things that are still in the air as to what we really need to look at, but as far as I am concerned, the budget is pretty well set.” That is where we are going on Wednesday [November 16, 2022, Board Meeting]. “It will be an interesting meeting.”
Repair of Pickleball Court Cracks
Committee Member, Calvin Doody, said he discussed with Terry Wiley, Director of Parks and Recreation, the possibility of using driveway repair filler on the pickleball cracks. He doesn’t know where Wiley stands with that. Wiley is checking with his staff. The filler must be applied in 50-plus degree weather, and that window of opportunity may be gone this year.
The Chair asked if using this material would void the warranty. Doody said that we have a contractor coming in, but he will not touch the cracks and will only repair the paint. Previously we voided the warranty on the last pickleball finish. Doody said he thinks the current warranty is for two years.
Drop-in Pickleball Courts
Another topic was that many pickleball players want more drop-in courts. Currently, the drop-in courts are limited to two during prime hours. Some players feel half of the courts should have drop-in availability.
Doody suggested they rent the indoor pool for one day to practice kayak safety. Every kayak will be washed before it is brought into the building. Terry Wiley told Doody that this activity needs to be discussed with Deb Johnson. Pool Manager Deb Johnson is out on leave. Doody said we need to take some action soon. Serena said there is a schedule for the pool, and “it seems it would be as easy as looking at the schedule and finding a day it is not being used.”
Fuller asked if we could publish a list of top safety issues. Don’t paddle when it is cold. Paddle with a buddy. Wear a life jacket.
Doody would like to see two kayaking educational events come to fruition.
1. An expert panel discussion of “everything kayaking” for residents
2. How to handle kayaks out of the water.
Gonzales recommended that there should be a place to store kayaks on the lakes for those folks who may have a hard time maneuvering them on land.
Quinton reported that there is no new momentum regarding the Senior Olympics because of the holidays. Quinton said the pickleball venue already used for the Senior Olympics is massive. Quinton would like to see the Senior Olympics Archery Event held in the Village.
Lisa Schlesinger Joins Committee
Chair Debra Fuller welcomed Lisa to the committee. Schlesinger said she is happy to be on the committee. She will be officially approved by the Board of Directors on Wednesday, November 16, 2022.
Deb Fuller – “We attempted a couple of events this year that fell flat from the registration perspective. This was unfortunate because these were really good, solid events…” Fuller said they are going back to the drawing board and will survey Villagers to see what they might be interested in. Survey questions Fuller plans to ask are: “What time of year will you be more inclined to participate in this type of event? What will motivate you to participate in an event?”
Ad-hoc Rules and Regulation Committee Update
Serena Gonzales is the P & R representative on the ad hoc committee. She said that there has been a conversation with the ad hoc committee members about what is a rule versus a policy. Gonzales said that basically, what they are doing is going through the rules, the policy, and other useful information and restructuring all of this material, and shifting some things into categories. For the most part, they are not changing the rules but rewriting them for clarity. This material will be cross-referenced with the Protective Covenants. “I think what we are creating is a resident handbook…,” explained Gonzales.
Newcomers Meeting Coming Up in November
Our next Newcomers Meeting is Wednesday, November 30, at 10:00 AM at Woodlands Auditorium.
Next P & R Meeting
NOTE: The Parks & Recreation Committee meets on the second Monday of each month, but the meeting scheduled for December 12, 2022, is canceled. The next meeting will be held on January 9, 2023, at 3:00 PM at the Coronado Community Center, Room 3.
Report by Cheryl Dowden